Namibia’s Q2 trade gap widens 68% q/q as imports surge

By bne IntelliNews August 13, 2015

Namibia’s foreign trade deficit expanded by 68% y/y to NAD9.9bn ($770.5mn) in the second quarter, data from Namibia Statistics Agency showed.

The country’s exports grew 2.3% q/q to NAD13.9bn in Q2, while imports soared 22% y/y to NAD23.8bn.

Compared to Q2 2014, Namibia’s exports plummeted 39% and imports dropped 20%, resulting in a 42% expansion of the trade gap.

Diamonds remained Nabia’s top export commodity in Q2, accounting for 38.4% of total export revenues, followed by fish with a 13.1% share, copper cathodes with 7.5%, and copper ores also with 7.5%.

The main import commodity were mineral fuels and oils, contributing 20% to total imports, followed by vehicles with a 10.8% share.

The Bank of Namibia has hiked its main repo rate by a total of 100bp since June 2014 in a bid to contain a persistently strong growth in instalment credit, used predominantly for purchase of unproductive imported luxury goods, chiefly cars, that put pressure on the country’s international reserves. Imports of vehicles fell 6.4% y/y to ZAR2.57bn in Q2.

Botswana remained Namibia’s main export market in Q2, with a share of 25.3%, followed by South Africa with 19.4%, and Switzerland with 9.2%.

South Africa remained the main importer into the country with a 65.5% share of total imports, followed by China with 8.7%, and India with 2.9%.

External trade, NAD mn Q2 2015 Q1 2015 Q2 2014 y/y change q/q change
Total exports (fob) 13 911 13 602 22 730 -38.8% 2.3%
Total imports (cif) 23 764 19 464 29 673 -19.9% 22.1%
TRADE BALANCE -9 853 -5 862 -6 943 41.9% 68.1%
Source: Namibia Statistics Agency        

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